Thug who claimed he was victim of hate campaign is convicted of attacking man with flagpole

Martin McCabe battered his rival’s Mercedes car and then hit his victim with the pole in the face, detaching his eye from the socket

Martin McCabe

Martin McCabe

Steven MooreSunday World

A thug who claimed he was the victim of a hate campaign has been convicted of attacking a man with a flagpole.

Martin McCabe launched a vicious attack on his victim with whom he was involved in a dispute with on Easter Sunday 2021.

The 44-year-old, of Canal Street Newry battered his rival’s Mercedes car with the wooden flagpole and then hit his victim with the pole in the face, leaving him with a detached eye socket.

He was found guilty at Newry Magistrates’ Court last week of common assault, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence.

He was found not guilty of a second charge of possessing an offensive weapon with intent.

Despite pleading not guilty to the charges he was found guilty but escaped with fines totalling £600.

McCabe claimed last year that he and his friend had been subjected to threats and intimidation as part of a race-hate campaign.

He claimed he had been standing up for his friend who he said was being targeted because she was a Romani Gypsy.

But last week it thug McCabe who found himself before a judge for attacking a man, who spoke to the Sunday World but asked not to be identified.

He told us: “I was driving passed on my way to the Armagh Road and he was standing there with this thick wooden flagpole which he used to smack the car.

“I stopped and got out and he broke the back windows of the car and then he hit me with the flagpole.

“He went to hit me again but he missed and hit the ground and the pole broke in half. He damaged the two side panels of the car.

“I phoned the police and they told me to come round to them. They told me I needed to go to hospital because there was blood pouring from my eye and it was the police that took me.

“I was in such shock I hadn’t noticed but the hospital said the eye had come out of the socket and he’d damaged my shoulder too.”

Martin McCabe

The victim says he made a statement and then Martin McCabe made a counter-allegation of assault.

After examining the evidence the police charged McCabe alone with a string of offences.

“I had to go to the eye doctor several times for treatment and had MRI scans and I’m now waiting for physio on my shoulder.

“They were nasty injuries and there was no need for such an attack. He also caused £2,000 worth of damage to my car.”

Martin McCabe contacted this paper last year to claim he was a victim of a race-hate campaign but failed to mention he had been charged with criminal offences as a result of his flagpole attack.

“I have been threatened and they started up a Facebook page to spread lies about us both,” he told us last September.

“They have put it on social media that we are drug dealers, that we sell drugs to kids, we rob pensioners and that I’m a police informer.”

Martin even told us he was involved in an altercation with two men he claimed were involved in the campaign against him and his friend.

“They had been circling mine for ages and then they pulled up to my house. They were armed with a wheel brace and a hurling bat.

“I got hit a few times but I defended myself and took the hurling bat off one of them and gave as good as I got.”

Martin says he called the police to report the incident but says his attackers made counter claims and the PSNI were unable to charge them with anything.

The victim of the flagpole attack told us this week that McCabe was referring here to the incident in which he was attacked with the flagpole but had misrepresented the truth.

“I was alone, I had nobody else with me and I was driving past, I wasn’t going to attack anyone, he completely made that up,” the man told the Sunday World.

“Martin McCabe made up a load of nonsense. At the end of the day he’s the one who got convicted of assault, not me.

“Hopefully that’s the end of it now. I just want to live in peace.”

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